Planning effective joint development programs in shared river basins is thought to become better when such programs are preceded by integrated studies. This paper aims to provide such a study through a situation analysis with regard to the vulnerability of water resources systems in the Eastern Nile Basin (ENB). The focus was on using internationally recognized indicators and indices that can provide an insight about the situation in the region in a concise and illustrative fashion. A framework for assessing vulnerability of water systems was outlined and applied to the region. Based on a careful survey, a list of 31 indicators used for vulnerability assessment were identified and categorized to separate hydro-physical indicators from other indicators of socio-economic or political nature. The identified indicators were evaluated for the three ENB countries and illustrated in radar diagrams. Interpretations were drawn describing the vulnerability situation in each country. The main findings are: (1) vulnerability of water resources is highest in Sudan, followed by Ethiopia and then Egypt; (2) while vulnerability in Egypt stems mainly from hydro-physical factors; in Sudan and Ethiopia it is directly related to poverty and underdevelopment; (3) Higher stresses on available water resources in Egypt are due to increases in total withdrawals; while in Sudan and Ethiopia it is mainly due to water mal-distribution and quality deterioration; (4) governance factors in the three countries hinder the proper management of the available water resources.
Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is successful in the detection of the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This review examines the methods used and results of recent studies on the quantification of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. WBE becomes essential, especially with virus transmission path uncertainty, limitations on the number of clinical tests that could be conducted, and a relatively long period for infected people to show symptoms. Wastewater surveillance was used to show the effect of lockdown on the virus spread. A WBE framework tailored for SARS-CoV-2 that incorporates lessons learnt from the reviewed studies was developed. Results of the review helped outline challenges facing the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples. A comparison between the various studies with regards to sample concentration and virus quantification was conducted. Five different primers sets were used for qPCR quantification; however, due to limited data availability, there is no consensus on the most sensitive primer. Correlating the slope of the relationship between the number of gene copies vs. the cumulative number of infections normalized to the total population served with the average new cases, suggests that qPCR results could help estimating the number of new infections. The correlation is improved when a lag period was introduced to account for asymptomatic infections. Based on lessons learnt from recent studies, it is recommended that future applications should consider the following: 1) ensuring occupational safety in managing sewage collection and processing, 2) evaluating the effectiveness of greywater disinfection, 3) measuring viral RNA decay due to biological and chemical activities during collection and treatment, 4) assessing the effectiveness of digital PCR, and 5) conducting large scale international studies that follow standardized protocols.
Allopregnanolone and pregnanolone (together termed allo + pregnan) are neurosteroid metabolites of proges-terone that equipotently facilitate the action of gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) at GABA A receptors. The adrenal steroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) allosterically antagonizes GABA A receptors and facilitates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor function. In prior research, premenopausal women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) displayed low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of allo + pregnan [undifferentiated by the gas chromatographymass spectrometry (GC-MS) method used] that correlated strongly and negatively with PTSD reexperiencing and negative mood symptoms. A PTSD-related decrease in the ratio of allo + pregnan to 5α-dihydroprogesterone (5α-DHP: immediate precursor for Allopregnanolone) suggested a block in synthesis of these neurosteroids at 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3α-HSD). In the current study, CSF was collected from unmedicated, tobacco-free men with PTSD (n = 13) and trauma-exposed healthy controls (n = 17) after an overnight fast. Individual CSF steroids were quantified separately by GC-MS. In the men with PTSD, allo + pregnan correlated negatively with Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-IV) total (ρ = −0.74, p = 0.006)and CAPS-IV derived Simms dysphoria cluster (ρ = −0.71, p = 0.01) scores. The allo + pregnan to DHEA ratio
The continuously changing drivers of the water treatment industry, embodied by rigorous environmental and health regulations and the challenge of emerging contaminants, necessitates the development of decision support systems for the selection of appropriate treatment trains. This paper explores a systematic approach to developing decision support systems, which includes the analysis of the treatment problem(s), knowledge acquisition and representation, and the identification and evaluation of criteria controlling the selection of optimal treatment systems. The objective of this article is to review approaches and methods used in decision support systems developed to aid in the selection, sequencing of unit processes and design of drinking water, domestic wastewater, and industrial wastewater treatment systems. Not surprisingly, technical considerations were found to dominate the logic of the developed systems. Most of the existing decision-support tools employ heuristic knowledge. It has been determined that there is a need to develop integrated decision support systems that are generic, usable and consider a system analysis approach.
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